Leon had been suffering for about a year with renal failure and his kidney's were packing up. Over the year we have taken him to the vets several times, both in the UK and in Spain, and both diagnosed the condition.
You may remember in December he was taken to the vet in Spain and when we told him of the circumstances he said if we x-ray him and his kidneys show up dark then he definitely has the disease. That proved to be the case and he thought Leon would only last a few weeks.
We are fortunate that we have had him for a further 3 months. He did have another UK visit in January but he was so distressed at the vets that we decided the next time we took him there it would be his last as despite our selfish want's we would not let him suffer. The problem with this disease is that it is very slow and to decide when to take him was very difficult.
In the last couple of weeks Leon has been slowing down and becoming more clingy, whiny and being sick a lot. He was sleeping about 90% of the time (a symptom) but when awake he was attentive one day and slow the next. On Saturday he developed a large growth where his tail stump meets his bum and it was blatantly painful. This was our deciding symptom. Having promised ourselves that he would not suffer any further or go through the trauma of any more treatment we made the appointment.
We have had our hand forced to some degree by our upcoming trip to the USA but due to his condition (being sick all the time) it would not have been fair to any new owner to take on the burden and on top of this, anyone that knew Leon knows that he treated all other humans as though they had the plague and would have been in distress with any one else.
Once at the vets we had an hour or so's wait and this was in itself difficult as all the other pet owners were laughing and joking among themselves and we were both in tears. Once we finally got to see the vet he had a feel of Leon's kidneys and said that they were in a terrible condition and had no hesitation in going along with our wishes.
The injection was given and we were put in a separate room whilst we comforted Leon as he slowly fell to sleep.
I am a 57 year old ex-police officer and as I write this I am sobbing like a baby. Leon has given us such pleasure over the years and has been to places and done things few other pets have. Today we will bury him on Bob and Liz's land on the edge of a field. Leon was such a character who bought a lot of joy and sunshine into our lives.
We miss him terribly.
Here are some of the photos we have of him in various places:
|Leon navigating in our motorhome|
|Playing on the open staircase at Mum and Sandy's farm|
|On the patio at our house in Hoddesdon|
|Stalking beside a lake in Finland|
|The Northernmost point in Europe. The tip of Norway, 71 Deg North.|
|Beside a Norwegian lake|
|About to go exploring the river bank from a boat on the Norfolk Broads. Regardless of what method of transport we had, he would go exploring and always come back wherever we were.|
|Chilling out in the motorhome. He has just had his tail removed and his leg is still shaved from the injections etc.|
|This name plate saved his life when he was attacked by the Rottweiler, it was bent as though it had been hit with a hammer and nail. He was lucky to only loose his tail.|
|A typical pose for a cat that would adapt to any situation we put him in.|
|His favourite perch in the Land Rover.|
|Exploring a small park in Lithuania.|
|Whenever we went shopping or exploring this is what greeted us on our return.|
|At home eying up the birds.|
|Our last photo and one of the best. We took this knowing time was running out for him.|